India Global Forum’s UK-India Week 2023 kicked off with the first ever Young Leaders Forum at the Nehru Centre in London on June 24, also marking the launch of a new Young Leaders Fellowship by India Global Forum (IGF).
IGF Founder and Chairman Manoj Ladwa said: “The Young Leaders Fellowship programme provides an outstanding opportunity for students studying in the UK to work with India Global Forum, offering them practical work experience, access to mentorship, invaluable leadership skills, and the chance to leverage an unmatched global network.
“The future belongs to those who are determined to make a difference, and this fellowship serves as a stepping-stone for our youngsters to become catalysts of progress.”
The inaugural event of UK-India Week 2023, Young Leaders Forum, brought together young leaders, influencers, and changemakers from India and the UK, providing them with a platform to engage in meaningful discussions, exchange ideas, and share insights on the challenges and opportunities presented by youth leadership.
Answering a question from the audience on the criticism of India by western media analysts, BJP Tamil Nadu State President K. Annamalai said: "Indian democracy is deep rooted and very old. Democracy is in our DNA. India is a complex country, and Indian politics cannot be fit into black and white.
“Indian politics operate in a uniquely Indian way. If anyone wants to analyse us with a western lens, they will fail."
Asked about the possibility of India offering dual citizenship to its diaspora worldwide, Annamalai indicated that the Indian government was aware of the growing demand and on a question about “brain drain” from India, Annamalai was of the view that the global model of engagement is a fast changing landscape.
The Young Leaders Forum witnessed engaging discussions on youth-led innovation and entrepreneurship, politics, activism, and community development.
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Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor for Business for London, said: “As Deputy Mayor, I want to strengthen the relationship between our two great nations, the UK and India, through what Prime Minister Modi describes as the living bridge community.
“When I first took over this role seven years ago, India was the fourth-largest investor in London, and last year, India was the largest investor in London.”
Urging the current generation to embrace entrepreneurship, Gautam Shroff, Managing Director & Head, Nuvama Group, said: “Don't think of doing a job. Try and be an entrepreneur. There is a lot of support available now that wasn’t previously easy to access.”
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Encompassing 12 marquee events with 150 speakers and 2,000+ participants, UK-India Week 2023 brings together business leaders, policymakers, and thought leaders from India, the UK and beyond to discuss opportunities for further collaboration and growth.